Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 3: Night of the Quinkan Review


Ty and friends are back for another big adventure as we conclude the trilogy. This one takes elements from the first two games which is neat and I would even say that this is the best game in the trilogy. It’s really a good way to end things off and while there is one big quality of life update I would have liked to see, it makes for a very fun adventure all the way through.

The game starts with Ty and friends taking down a big alien invasion and it’s a very climactic opening. Just when it seems like the game is ending before it’s truly begun, Ty gets trapped in the wormhole due to an outside attack. By the time he returns to the real world, 6 months have passed. Bush Rescue is disbanded and the villains have basically taken over the world. It’s a shame how everyone has absolutely no heroic instincts without Ty. One of the members went off to be a professional racer while the world is falling apart! Well, Ty has to bring the band back together one last time to stop the Quinkan from taking over the world. Can he pull this off or is it already too late?

So from there you might expect a really focused plot with constant action but it turns back into game 2 where you have a bunch of stand alone quests from there. Where the game improves from game 2 though is that the missions feel far less like filler this time around. Usually they all end up tying into the story in some way or another. You’re always getting closer to the truth of the invasion and finding a way to stop the Quinkan. The hub world and map appears the same from game 2 so get ready for a lot of exploring. They’ve also brought the shop back but fortunately this time there are mobile vans where you can buy the upgrades at instead of having to go all the way back to base each time.

That does lead into my one main complaint though which is that we really should have had fast travel here. I guarantee that would have been an amazing quality of life update. See, you have to drive back and forth along a really big hub world after every single mission which can get old. The car isn’t super fast so you’ll be driving quite a bit and quick travel would have solved that entirely. I suppose you’d spend less time on the hub world but that’s fine by me. This just makes sense for any game with a hub world this big.

Not a super big deal and the game’s pretty short as it is so you’ll still be finishing quickly. The gameplay has some more combat moves this time around so aside from throwing the boomerangs you can also smack opponents. This does mean that sometimes you’ll punch an opponent instead of throwing your weapon by mistake since it’s the same button though. I would have put the different attacks to different buttons personally but you should be good since both attacks are strong anyway. I found the actual combat gameplay to be rather weak but fortunately it is rarely necessary. You can almost always just skip the enemies. There’s no level up system in the game so fighting them doesn’t really matter much.

The game is split up into several gameplay styles so you have the levels where you are in the ground but you also have plane levels and mech suit ones. For the plane levels, you typically have to bomb enemy installations and shoot at others. Then in the mech suits you have a lot of fights and powering up generators. My favorite levels were probably the mech suit ones, it’s just a lot of fun to be in the suit and spamming lasers the whole time. Now that’s a good way to just barrel through the levels.

The graphics are solid as expected. Some of the night levels can get a bit dark but the game knows how to build the atmosphere up well. The action in the cutscenes is really good too. I question how someone was able to outrun a laser in the final part of the game but sometimes adrenaline will help you pull off some really good feats I guess. Either way it worked and that’s the important thing. The soundtrack is good too, it’s really got that retro platformer feeling to it.

I also enjoyed the story. I think it would be even better if you would just continue the story each time without having to go through the missions structure, but at the same time it is really nice that every single cutscene is voice acted. I can’t state enough how impressive that is and it always makes me feel like the game had a good budget behind it. This makes the whole game so much more immersive than if there was no voice acting like that. Ty’s parents also get to step in near the end of the story but their role is super small so I wouldn’t blame you for wanting something more this time.

So in all this was just a fun all around game. The gameplay is fun and while the combat may not be the best, it is almost never necessary so you don’t have to worry about it. The level designs are fun and I liked the various bosses. The final boss in particular is quite a bit of fun even if I bluffed my way through most of it. I would definitely be up for a new Ty game someday. The boomerang gameplay would lend itself really well to some modern mechanics with that. I think they would be able to do a tremendous job of taking things to the next level.

Overall, Ty 3 is my favorite game in the trilogy and even has an emotional ending. If you are looking for a fun platformer or just want to see Ty and the gang again then you can’t afford to miss out on this game. It’s really got everything you could be looking for here and then some. There is also some replay value as you can buy the rest of the boomerangs. There aren’t a bunch of other levels to play but still enough where you can have fun running around the island and checking out all the sights.

Overall 7/10

Saint Seiya: Hades: Chapter 3: Elysion Review


It’s time to wrap up the Saint Seiya saga. Chapter 3 closes out the Hades arc. It took 3 OVAs to knock out the arc but I’m glad that they persisted and kept churning these out until it was over. The arc ends in an epic fashion and is certainly not an adventure you are likely to forget. It’s been an emotional ride with the Saints from start to finish but every adventure has to end at some point. With great fights, story, soundtrack, and animation, you are in for a very solid time here.

The OVA picks up immediately where the last one ended. The heroes are finally closing in on Elysion, but are confronted by some more spectres. Shiryu stays behind to fight them while the other Saints arrive to take down Hades and the other two gods who serve him. Meanwhile Phoenix Ikki is getting ready to make his own move but what secrets of the past bind him together with Pandora? Her assistance could be the critical point of the war or if she stays evil, that could signal the final defeat of the Saints. Will Athena’s awful plan look any better in hindsight? Time to find out!

With only 6 episodes the OVA has to move quickly but we still get a good amount of time for the fights which is the important thing. There are a lot of characters running around at this point but the OVA juggles them well. At this point the only plot you probably won’t care about is with the other bronze and silver saints at home. They have a crucial moment where they protect against Hades’ attacks but otherwise you’re ready to go back to the Saints where all the battles are taking place.

Shiryu gets a big role to start things off with his fight against 3 spectres at the same time. I always thought that was a really impressive moment in the manga and it definitely keeps that same intensity in the OVA. Each spectre is no joke power-wise so beating 3 is impressive. You don’t expect the Saints to get a whole lot to do now that we’re near the end so it’s cool that Shiryu got to have one last hurrah. He is around during the climax fight as well but this is a match he can say that he won completely on his own.

For example, Andromeda and Hyoga get moments of their own of course but not in quite the same way. Hyoga takes on one of the top 3 Spectres and even manages to win on a technicality that they can’t exist in the void since they have no god blood while Hyoga does. Then you have Andromeda who is closely tied to Hades with a lot of twists there. This was a good way for Andromeda to finally be relevant though so I was all for it. In a power sense he’ll never be one of the top Saints but he at least did well in trying to hold Hades back the whole time. Ultimately Ikki was never going to sacrifice him though.

Phoenix Ikki looks great here as always. You have to give him a lot of props, right up through the final arc he is holding his own with Seiya and getting involved in the battles. He actually gets to go up against Hades and is the final Saint left standing with the main character. I like Ikki’s confidence and he also tends to be the most perceptive of the Saints. He was able to get here on his own after all which is impressive and he officially took down the final Spectres as he swore to avenge Pandora.

Even the scenes of him as a kid protecting Andromeda are really intense since most kids would have folded at that point. Ikki really did the rest of the Saints proud and I would expect no less from such a true fighter. He always reminds me why he is my favorite Saint Seiya character although Kanon and Aiolos are both very close. Saint Seiya really has a stacked cast here. Then of course you can’t forget Seiya himself who does well here as always. He really has to put up with a lot of punishment but always manages to get up.

He embodies the saint saying that no attack will work on him twice. He may go down after the first hit but once he gets up then you know that there is no chance left for the villains. Seiya’s an inspiring character who leaves his defeated opponents to trail behind him. Ultimately he steps up when it counts at the end of this OVA as well and does well in his golden mode. I would say he tanked the ending and made it back safely but there are definitely different ways to interpret the ending as you see the credits start to roll. Either way it makes for an emotional end to Seiya’s character arc.

The only aspect that isn’t very satisfying is how Seika reappears. So throughout the entire series Seiya has been looking for her but she was nowhere to be found. Even Saori with her vast resources and wealth could not locate her and we find out that Seika just had amnesia and was wandering around for a while. That’s really not a very satisfying resolution, certainly not the one you would expect to see after such a big build up. She comes in clutch with motivating Seiya to fight on but it just felt like this was a forgotten plot point that was thrown in at the last second.

As for the villains, in general I liked all of the important ones. The throwaway Spectres were mainly forgettable but the three judges and then the two gods were on point. The only exception to this would have to be Hades himself. I just never cared much for the villain and seeing as how I didn’t like Poseidon much I guess you could say that Saint Seiya has a bit of a main villain problem. It’s not that Hades is weak or anything but his goals and motivations aren’t super interesting.

So he wants to create a great eclipse so that the underworld will rise and he will rule over all. Athena tries to talk him out of the plan a few times and he refuses but it’s hard to even get a gauge on the guy’s character. He seems to be annoyed when anyone attacks him since the guy sees himself as being above everyone. He has the arrogance of a god type villain but none of the usual charisma that you need with it. I like his character design at least. Hades looks the part and appears as a very intimidating threat. He’s just not interesting and always lets things escalate until it’s far too late for him to stop the heroes. Even in the Lost Canvass he didn’t get to do much and that series went out of its way to develop everyone a whole lot.

For a main villain who improved here, I have to say that Poseidon was impressive. I didn’t like him in the last arc but it was cool to see him pitch in a bit here to help out when the chips were down. It shows that at the end of the day he will protect the planet and that makes sense since if Hades wins that will be the end for everyone. The oceans won’t be exempt from such a fate. It’s a very small cameo but I thought it was an effective one.

As for the gods Thanatos and Hypnos, both of them were fun. Hypnos certainly seems to be the wiser one and also a little more powerful. He warns Thanatos time and time again not to get too overconfident and yet the guy does so anyway. This is often the folly of any fighter who goes up against Athena’s saints. Lost Canvass retroactively makes this look even worse for Thanatos since he never learns his lessons. In this case, I prefer Thanatos’ confidence to Hades though. Thanatos has the charisma that Hades was lacking and I just like to see him talk a good game. He was able to back it up for a while as well with how his fight against Seiya went. Ultimately he gave it his best effort but he just wasn’t strong enough. Hypnos also gets a good fight but it is quite a bit shorter.

Then we have Pandora who I always thought was a very interesting character. At first glance she is just the evil version of Athena only in her case, Pandora was pretty much forced into this life. Her whole family was murdered and two gods threatened to make things quite rough for her if she didn’t help them out. While you can’t really throw out excuses for her since Pandora still acted as a villain, there’s not much stronger coercion than that. Unlike Athena she can actually fight as well. The Spectres are actively afraid of Pandora and she ends up being rather helpful in the arc. Without her, Ikki wouldn’t have made it to the end and without Ikki, Seiya would have certainly been defeated. So it’s no exaggeration to say that she saved the day here. That’s why she is a very memorable character and also a solid villain. Ultimately you know that things won’t end very happily for her but that’s just how it goes.

Finally, to answer the question on if Athena’s mission/plan looks any better in hindsight….it doesn’t. So lets look at the plan here. Athena decided to destroy herself and allowed the evil Saints to murder almost all of her guards so she could go to the Underworld. From there she would travel to meet Hades and ask him nicely to stop his plan of destroying the world. She would let him murder her and in exchange he would stop and allow the world to continue. I have so many problems with this plan but the biggest one is that there’s no reason to assume this would ever succeed. I don’t think Hades has any problems with lying so he could just say “Sure, I’ll be good” and then after murdering Athena he goes through with the plan.

Alternately he doesn’t even need to lie. He could just wink and say he’s going to destroy the world anyway. Athena is far too weak to stop him and she has helped decimate her own forces. Athena is probably one of the worst rulers I’ve ever seen. She is consistently attacking her own members by proxy like when she refused to let Seiya help out and her plans are poorly thought out. At no point in this entire scheme did she do something that made sense. Stopping the Spectres from the start would have been the absolute best plan of hers. Given how powerful the Gold Saints are shown to be, they likely would have won the battle.

The villains can regenerate which is true, but not when Shaka uses his beads so there is a counter. It’s not full proof but the odds of victory would have still been terrific. Athena’s Saints are simply stronger and that’s all you really need to know in such a battle. I never quite forgave Athena’s plan here. At the end of the day it just resulted in countless deaths that were completely needless. None of the characters call her out on this which is probably the worst part.

As expected, the animation is solid here. Considering how much newer it is than the show, it may not look as spectacular as you would hope but it does the job. The character designs are on point and the fights are good. The armors are really shiny which is always cool. If anything that’s the first part that always catches your attention for any Saint Seiya product so you want to make sure that it looks on point. The OVA did well here so I was satisfied.

As for the soundtrack, it’s got all the usual tunes you would expect from the show so that’s good. The battle theme and every other song are just iconic by this point. Eventually I’d like to see the series experiment with some more songs but considering that this was the end of an era, I really don’t see an issue with bringing the same tracks back. It can work as a very nostalgic kind of thing.

Overall, This was a great way to end the Hades arc. It really ended up being a blast and it’s good to have made it to the end. It’s easy to see why the Saint Seiya franchise has expanded so far. The characters are fun and the battles are always intense. The plots are easy to follow so it’s the kind of title you can pick up and watch at any time. The fights are dramatic and the stakes are always super high. Sometimes pride will keep the characters from making the right decisions but you know that the bronze saints will always be around to reign in the Gold fighters if they go too far off the path. If you haven’t seen this OVA yet, then you will want to change that so you can say that you’ve ended the saga once and for all. It’s only 6 episodes so it won’t take long and it’s almost all nonstop battles. After all, this is the climax now so there’s no time to rest.

Overall 8/10

RoboCop 3 Review


It’s time for the end of an era with RoboCop 3. The films have a strong continuity which I do like. We have seen OCP run the city of Detroit into the ground and by the 3rd film things are worse than ever. At this point the city seems beyond saving which leads into the current circumstances. We’ve now got another company in the running and the technology is finally catching up to RoboCop. It could be the end of the road for him.

The movie starts with OCP pretty much going out of business so they are forced to jump in with a Japanese company Kanemitsu who begins to take over really quickly. Together they create a more aggressive police unit that will strive to uphold the peace without robot members. Of course what they are really doing is pushing everyone out of their homes to try and earn more bucks by upgrading the places. Anyone who doesn’t want to move is taken away by force or destroyed. This leads to a little girl named Nikko losing her parents. Fortunately she is a computer genius so she is able to join the resistance and help them steals guns and other equipment.

One day, the army comes after her and the resistance so RoboCop defends them but of course he is easily dispatched and barely escapes with his life. He will need Lazarus to reprogram him so he can fight back against OCP agents but will even that be enough? He will have to get past Otomo, a Japanese android of unimaginable power who seems to be much faster than RoboCop. One thing’s for sure, he can’t afford to let his guard down.

Like with the last film we have a kid as a main focus here but this time it’s as one of the heroes. Nikko’s scenes are always rather cheesy though as she is somehow able to hack the greatest robots in the world with a few clicks of the button. She knows about Robocop’s specs and can even take out Otomo’s. There is nothing that she cannot do with her laptop which is supposed to be cool and all but it doesn’t seem likely. She really could have been cut out of the film entirely and that wouldn’t have been a bad thing.

The rest of the resistance members are around but the only big one is Keiko who serves as the main leader. She does well in rallying the troops. Without RoboCop around you get the sense that they would have been wiped off the map but it is hard to oppose the OCP so that makes sense. As it is, she kept them around for quite a while which is impressive. RoboCop’s partner Anne is around as well but her role is even smaller than in the second film. I doubt fans will appreciate how she looks here. It’s not a great appearance to be honest and even if her limited screen time is rather important to the film this time.

Otomo was very impressive, I think it’s about time we had a true robotic opponent for RoboCop. This guy was easily the most powerful opponent that RoboCop had faced thus far but there was definitely a big issue here. RoboCop is just too weak. It hurts the battle because it’s so lopsided that you know the only way for RoboCop to win is with significant plot armor. Look, a little plot armor can be fine but when you see how RoboCop isn’t even in the same league, it just makes you worry for how the fight will go. Sure enough, the ending isn’t very satisfying. Otomo was a great concept but in the end the execution was not on point.

McDaggett is one of the new villains and he’s fun enough. Definitely a step up over the last film. he’s one of those guys who certainly relishes being a villain and likes to do whatever he can to make everyone else’s lives worse. It’s hard to even say if he believes in his cause or if he’s just having fun with it on a power trip. Either way the guy is quite straight forward in how he acts around his goals and I prefer that over pretending to have some kind of high ground.

As for Lazarus, she’s a good scientist and it’s nice that Robo has at least one person in his corner. Ultimately she puts her career on the line to help him out and it shows that she is a loyal person who can be trusted. The fact that she is familiar with how his suit operates is really helpful since he now has someone who can run repairs on him consistently outside of OCP. Finally with RoboCop himself, well I still find the guy way too weak for his own good. He still walks into every fight as if he’s Superman. RoboCop doesn’t even try to dodge enemy attacks so he sits there and takes it every time. I would much rather he fights more tactically considering that he isn’t even all that durable.

He’s a good character but one who is way too overconfident. If you take away his battle performance, at least his intent is correct. Like when he decided to protect the civilians in the church. Yes he got wrecked in that fight but it was absolutely the correct move to save the there. Then you have the scene at the end which is something straight out of the DBS Broly film where he says that his friends call him Murphy but the villains can call him RoboCop. I thought that was a very epic way to end the film because he’s saying once and for all that he will oppose the OCP. You could do a lot of interesting sequels and such with this so it’s a shame that the films had to end now. I’m not sure if I would trust the mayor of Detroit if he is put back into power but surely he has to be better than the OCP right?

Overall, RoboCop 3 got back some of the shine it had been lacking in the second film. Not all of it mind you but this is a good start. It can be the cheesiest film though with the kid and even the media scene where one of the reporters finally has enough of this. That said, we get some fun fights and RoboCop’s jet pack was fun. The police going back on strike feels almost like a running gag at this point but at least this time they all walked out to oppose the villains which is good. In the final fight it felt like there was quite a body count though so hopefully they all went in with no regrets. None of the sequels may have caught up to the original but it was fun seeing all of these adventures. I’m glad that RoboCop was able to achieve a full trilogy since that is not an easy feat.

Overall 6/10

Toy Story 3 Review


Time to complete the trilogy! Toy Story 3 definitely came out quite a bit after the first two so it really looks a lot newer right from the jump. It’s definitely a big change in the status quo for the characters as well. Now does it defeat the first two films? On one hand it easily has the most action out of the 3 with a whole group of villains which was pretty intense. On the other hand you don’t get the fight between both Buzz’s. Hmmm….ultimately I would say this was the best in the trilogy although it’s close.

The movie starts off with a big homage to the first film. It’s the heroes all playing around in a classic wild west scenario only the graphics are way better than they used to be. We get explosions, boosters, and every cool gizmo you could want. We then cut to the toys being played with and it shows how good the kid’s imagination is. Well, it’s fun to reminisce about the old days but now Andy is heading off to college and isn’t really planning on bringing his toys. Why would he right?

Well, he plans on bringing Woody but everyone else is going to the cellar. Unfortunately due to a mistake, all of the other toys are sent to the junk pile where they narrowly avoid death. They decide to use this opportunity to go to the day care instead where kids will finally play with them again. After all the toys want to be played with rather than being stuck in the cellar. Woody disagrees with this and tells them to stay locked up in the cellar until Andy has kids some day.

Both sides are unable to come to a disagreement so the team splits up. Well, I say team but Woody is the only one who doesn’t follow them. He heads home but it isn’t a very smooth adventure as he ends up getting trapped at another kid’s house for a while. He has a good time there but ultimately needs to go home. Things should be smooth from there but he finds out that his friends may be in trouble.

See, the day care is run by Lotso, a powerful bear of big ambitions. He runs the place with an iron grip. See there are several rooms in the day care with one of them being for the little kids who don’t know how to play with toys yet. As a result this gets really painful for any toy who will be in that room. Lotso has it set up so the newest toys go there but when there are no toys available he forces others to go in and be destroyed. If Buzz and friends don’t find a way out soon then they will not be around for much longer.

Now, without knowing about the evil bear at the ready, I did agree with Buzz and friends about going to the nursery. Why stay in an attic where you may never be taken out again? Additionally there is no guarantee that they wouldn’t be thrown out eventually. That ultimately puts you in a pretty tricky spot. At least in the day care you figure there will always be a new group of kids ready to play with you every year.

Lotso just throws a wrench into that idea but I wouldn’t say it retroactively makes Woody right. Lotso is a very impressive villain though and definitely the best one in the trilogy. His origin story is pretty intense to the point where it feels like it could be a real origin story for a villain in something else. He was betrayed and as a result he has decided never to let that happen again. It’s all pretty intense.

Now you may have to suspend a little more disbelief here than in the other films because of how big this set up is. It’s hard to see Lotso actually having constant patrols, a toy at the security room, and the cages he has set up. Surely the school has some night staff or a night watchman right? The toys were doing a whole lot of things here unsupervised. Lotso basically created a kingdom so the school needs to step it up.

Not a big deal though since you could rationalize this if needed. Meanwhile it gives Woody a pretty good subplot since he gets to look really good in his rescue attempt. There’s a good amount of danger here as well since toys are actually dying and being dismembered here. It’s still a family film and all so it’s not violent in the sense that they don’t feel serious pain. Everything is more like a dull pain no matter what happens but it’s still pretty horrifying from the perspective of the toys. Woody can’t waste any time in getting to them.

There’s a pretty popular fan edit where someone cuts out the rest of the film after the scene where the heroes are falling in the quick-sand pit. It would be quite a dark ending there. We get a pretty wholesome one though that ends the film on a pretty high note. It’s hard to see this one being surpassed in the 4th but if it can pull it off that would be cool.

Most of the characters here are the same as always so you can expect a lot of good dialogue and character moments. Barbie gets a pretty big role as one of the new characters though. She is quick to side with her friends when she realizes that Ken is acting fishy which I appreciated though. She wasn’t going to buy any of his false stories and that’s the difference between a big player and a bit character. In a sense she replaced Bo who didn’t get to appear in this film.

Now there is one question that the third film sort of makes you think about. Since the toys are so desperate to be with Andy why don’t they just talk to him? That is never really contemplated so you have to assume it isn’t possible but then why even bother staying still? It seems like they think it’s possible for the humans to see them move so talking shouldn’t be out of the picture. Unless there is an official explanation for this, I have to assume that there is some kind of serious taboo that prevents this. Perhaps if you try to talk to a human you die instantly? Maybe it’s a Wixoss type enchantment that prevents you from revealing your existence unless the person already knows about it? I’d like some answers on this…maybe the 4th film can delve into it a bit but that’s my head cannon until it’s revealed. The toys can’t say anything because they would immediately die, it’s a universal rule of the world itself which cannot be broken.

Overall, Toy Story 3 is a nice way to end things out. The characters all had complete character arcs and had to accept that things would change some day. Staying with Andy may not have been a bad move but at the same time they wouldn’t be played with a whole lot and that seems very important to the toys themselves. The whole phone angle wouldn’t work and Andy wouldn’t even be home for a while anyway. Lotso really made for an imposing villain and the scene with the gang surrounding Buzz and taking him down was ominous. Seeing Buzz then attack the heroes while he was mind controlled was emotional as well. This one really escalated things to a whole new level with the drama which worked really well while keeping in the strengths from the first two titles. The 4th film has big shows to step into here.

Overall 7/10

John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative.

Wick returns for another big adventure. The second film had a terrific cliffhanger to lead up to this one and the third film makes sure to capitalize on the concept and even throw in another cliffhanger. Ultimately I would say the 2nd film is still the definitive one because it really got to go all out with Wick taking on all challengers. This one is pretty close though.

So last time a bounty was put on Wick’s head since he ended up taking someone out while at the Continental hotel which is against the rules set by the high table. Now he has to try and survive while the entire planet is after him. The bounty on his head is also rather high so he doesn’t have many people to turn too. He’ll have to try and get the high table to remove the bounty and the only way to get an ally is to use his once in a lifetime contract coin.

Let’s talk about some aspects where the film actually even beast film 2 but also the reasons why it lost. For starters, I would say the fights may have even passed film two’s. It’s close but the highs of this film have to be the best with the ninja fights. Wick taking on the ninja masters at the end was very impressive and made for a lot of hype moments. The fact that the ninjas actually defeated him a few times was also very impressive. It showed that they were above the usual thugs.

The main ninja was also a terrific opponent. He was a fun character as well. Wick certainly hasn’t lost a step that’s for sure and he may very well be the most impressive human fighter in this kind of film. It’s hard to see almost anyone stopping him. At this point John is already very weakened and yet he’s still going around taking out all challengers.

That ties into the aspect that’s weaker than the second film though. We get a lot more non Wick scenes as well. There’s the new heroine who gets to fight, we have ninjas taking out all of the other big factions, and the whole time you’re just waiting to see Wick fight again. The whole desert side quest felt like it was a break from the usual setting of Wick being in New York and taking everyone down.

John Wick 3’s best scenes are at the very beginning as we close up the cliffhanger from the second film and the very ending as he fights off waves of opponents from the table and the ninja. So it’s the middle that feels like it’s more fluff than anything and could have been condensed a bit. It’s a change of scenery but when your backdrop is New York you never really need to leave. Those scenes always look quite incredible with the special effects and atmosphere.

There’s not a whole lot to say about John Wick that I haven’t already gone into during the first two films. He’s a great lead who gets the job done and has a lot of good character development. He goes through a lot and just never goes down. The guy’s resolve is really something else.

Sofia is one of the new characters introduced in the film but I definitely didn’t like her. Her final scene involving a water bottle is just so petty and disgusting. I feel like Wick should have just stolen her truck right then and there. She can fight well and gets some extended fights with her dogs. The film got into some rather dangerous territory by having the dogs around but this time at least the film didn’t make a big mistake. The dog getting shot was still pretty bad but at least he lived and was able to get up and fight afterwards with the jacket.

Wick telling Sofia not to murder the guy was pretty bad advice though considering the entire plot of the first film. Additionally, we then get a long action sequence where they literally murder every minion on the base. At that point you may as well murder the leader too right? Why should he be the only one to survive this ordeal? Either way I’d rather Sofia not return in the sequel but if she does, I’d say Wick will be ready for her. Part of why I hope she doesn’t return is because it’s all too risky as long as she owns those dogs. I don’t want to take a chance on any of them getting injured and if they’re fighting Wick to the death that’ll be tricky. Additionally while their fights are very different, I did not enjoy them nearly as much as the human fights. It’s all portrayed extremely violently as they bite the enemies where it hurts. It’s an effective strategy sure but instead of being hype it makes the fights rather hard to look at.

Winston gets a pretty big role here as the owner of the hotel. He gets to look rather tough the whole time even if he talks a great game despite not actually doing much of anything. The guy definitely likes to stay in the shadows and command from there. Charon is also a really fun character as always. He has a good dynamic with Wick that’s for sure and he actually goes into the field to fight which also raises his character in my eyes.

The Bowery King returns from the last film and he’s still got a lot of confidence here. Perhaps he should have prepared himself more for the fight with the High Table but I guess a King’s folly is often his overconfidence. There’s also a Russian group that shows up here who have a role to play. This film really shows off just how many different villain groups are operating in New York.

Part of the plot here is that the High Table is finally stepping in since there’s so much chaos going on. At the very least you have to say that they’re quite bold since they pick fights with every single faction in the film. Naturally all of these guys try to fight back but they have a group of ninjas led by Zero who are ready for anything. The ninja make short work out of all the groups which is also impressive.

The Adjudicator sent out to make the warnings doesn’t seem like she can fight a whole lot though. You’d think that her confidence would be her downfall but nobody ever bothers actually trying to shoot her which is very fortunate for her safety. The high table makes for a pretty interesting villain so we’ll see how that goes. It’s definitely a dynamic I haven’t seen in a long time where a villain group suddenly shows up cleaning the board of heroes and villains alike.

Zero also has to be the best main villain in the series. He gets a lot of fun dialogue during his battle with Wick. While the guy seems to like Wick as a good rival, the feeling isn’t mutual. It’s hard to blame Wick for being cold though since the guy is actively trying to murder him. Wick had more fun fighting the guy’s two subordinates, perhaps because they really fought cleanly from the start. The whole climax in the mirror world was pretty exciting.

As always the Wick films contain as much violence as they do action though. The characters go down in rather painful ways and the High Table introduces some punishment for most of the characters as well. Characters are forced to lose limbs in service to the high table or get slashed to bits. The poor henchmen don’t stand a chance against the ninja’s blades and of course Wick isn’t holding back either. The body count is massive and the series still has a much more realistic vibe than most so it’s not like this is stylized to avoid the blood.

The fight choreography is still incredibly impressive down to the fact that Wick has to reload his guns and plan things out accordingly. Each fight really holds up. Still, you’ll need a good stomach for violence in these fights. One character goes down rather painfully to a book, but that’s why you shouldn’t try to bend the rules.

The music is quite fun as always. There are a lot of really solid themes throughout the movie that help you feel the intensity of the moment. Again, you really can’t top the opening scene. I wouldn’t say that rain is always good to have around but it’s perfect for tense scenes like the opening where Wick is trying to get away from all of the possible hitmen. Any and everyone can be against him after all so it’s not easy to stay safe. I wouldn’t have minded if that was really the whole film either.

Of course the ending does leave a lot of interesting room for the sequel. I would say some characters definitely made a mistake with how they handled things and Wick is definitely going to make them regret it. 3 films in and people still insist on challenging the guy. I guess some characters never learn.

Overall, John Wick 3 definitely continues the series by reinforcing what everyone likes about it so much. It’s certainly a very interesting journey with a lot of good writing and intense action. It would be so perfect if they could just tone down the violence. You could certainly do that even while keeping the fights realistic by changing camera angles or stylizing things a bit. Hopefully the series continues with having hype cliffhangers at the end because these really hold up in getting you psyched to see what happens next.

Overall 4/10

Bleach: Can’t Fear Your Own World Review


Bleach will always be known as one of the greatest manga to ever walk the planet. It balanced together a ton of action and hype moments but at the same time fans will note that we were left with a lot of unanswered questions. Well, this book seeks to answer at least some of them. Others will need more novels but if you had any questions about Hisagi or the origins of the Soul Society then this should answer them. It’s a pretty fun trilogy even if it probably would have been better to have sidelined Hisagi since he’s so far out of his depth.

The books starts with Aizen finally being sentenced to prison again. He may have helped out during the Thousand Blood War but nobody wants to see him since he makes them feel bad. The guy is successfully able to manipulate the whole cast in his few pages of screen time at the beginning. He says some rather disturbing things though which causes Hisagi to decide to run a newspaper. He aims to get to the bottom of the dark web of lies known as the Soul Society. To do this he will have to interview every character who had a role during the Bleach manga series. There’s just one problem: he may have just walked into a conspiracy.

Meanwhile Tokinada has decided that it’s time to act more openly. He’s the head of one of the 4 sacred houses of the Soul Society. This means that he can do just about whatever he wants whenever he wants. In this case he just wants to stir up some trouble and intends to use his protégé Hikone to accomplish this goal. With Ichigo away on vacation, do the heroes have any chance against this guy?

Since there are 3 books here there is a whole lot of time for story progression. As such the books are able to be very dialogue heavy with character discussing abstract concepts such as what it means to fear someone and if it makes you stronger. In particular Hisagi loves discussing such topics since he is obsessed with them. In a way I would say Tosen leaving seems to have traumatized Hisagi in some way because the guy is really obsessed.

You’ll have long monologues of Hisagi wondering if what he is doing is right or perhaps he made a mistake somewhere. It’s definitely a rough road for the guy that’s for sure. Hisagi’s not a bad character, I’ve never minded him at least although I would say he is probably better in the manga than in the novels because we didn’t know he was so dramatic. In the books he tends to panic whenever anyone talks to him. In his defense he is rather outmatched by everyone though. He still gets to participate in the climax though and I would say that was handled really well.

In terms of moments where he overthinks things, I would say that the answer usually isn’t all that hard to find. For example, he talks about the kind of justice that Tosen has but no matter how you try to explain it away, that guy was just crazy. You can’t find meaning in his actions due to that being the case.

Then later on when he’s panicking about Tokinada getting the better of him, you realize he just needs to beat that guy. Now, some of the characters have valid gripes against the Soul Society like Ginjo. I thought he looked really good here as well. I would argue in the fights he should have looked a lot stronger but he doesn’t train as much as Ichigo so I guess it’s not a big deal.

His main issue is really just that the Soul Society did betray him and they murdered a bunch of people. You can see why he is always upset at them because they get away with everything without any issue. That’s where the problem lies because you’d think that by now things would be different but they really aren’t.

Look no further than Mayuri’s subplot. Sure it’s mainly used as a dark humor kind of plot but he’s literally enslaved a bunch of hollows and quincies. The Soul Society looks the other way because they don’t like those factions at all but you’re really going to let them live such a tough existence? Mayuri doesn’t hide this at all either and is just as demented as he ever was. All of his scenes are painful just because of how dark they are. The guy gets his kicks out of experimenting on everyone but nobody stops him. It’s why I could never root for the Soul Society in any arc.

First they tried to murder Rukia on rather flimsy reasoning. That event is mentioned here a lot since of course Tokinada had something to do with it. That was one of their first appearances and things never really changed. They’re on Ichigo’s good side but that doesn’t mean that they are actually heroes. Throughout this trilogy we find out many other dark secrets about them which just keeps on adding up. Honestly I don’t think Hisagi will ever get to finish his story. He’ll probably be bumped off at some point.

Even characters with high ranks like Shunsui threaten Hisagi about this a lot. He really will have no friends if he goes too far to the point where it’s hinted that he would need to call in Ichigo. Ichigo gets a lot of hype here which was nice. Every tie the books hype up the new villains they always make sure to mention that Ichigo would still win. It’s nice to see because the power levels had be a bit worried. Sequels tend to surpass the heroes pretty quick like Granolah surpassing Goku and a bunch of Androids all surpassed Naruto with ease. So far that has not happened to Ichigo here.

In general the power levels in these books aren’t too bad but I definitely have some issues. Mainly it’s that too many of the characters seem deadlocked. You’ll be surprised at how many ties there are in this trilogy. Characters keep tanking everything until the battle gets interrupted. Most of the battles in the final book end at least which is good.

We get to see some of the Espada show up like Harribel, Nel, and Grimmjow. Harribel is currently the leader of Hueco Mundo and still looks good here. She doesn’t get a very big role but looks tough. The same is true of Nel as well. Grimmjow definitely gets a bigger role than the other two. He has several fights to himself and looks pretty good. It was always fun to see him get involved and was nostalgic in a way too.

Urahara knows a lot more than he lets on as always. He’s certainly a crucial piece to the heroes’ arsenal even if he tends to help behind the scenes. The guy hasn’t lost his edge. Then there’s Shunsui who may be the leader of the Soul Society but he has to play politics so often that he rarely gets to do what he wants to do anymore. I would say that holds him back as a character because he feels like someone who ended up joining corporate and can’t be trusted anymore. At the end of the day it’s clear that he will choose duty above all else.

Yoruichi and Shinji are other characters who get quick roles here. Yoruichi is confident as always and likes testing various characters but only participates in a fight briefly. Shinji also gets one fight but it’s quite the important one. He’s one of the few side characters to get a full fight to himself which is pretty big. His fans should definitely be satisfied with the results since you really can’t ask for a whole lot more than that.

Not to be outdone, Zaraki gets some hype as well. He doesn’t fight until nearly the end of the trilogy but it’s really a fight that’s worth your while. His power level has to be one of the strongest among all the captains at this point if not the absolute strongest based on how everyone acts around him.

Tosen is important only in the sense that his justice speech gets mentioned a lot by Hisagi. Honestly I think Hisagi reads way too far into everything. Tosen was pretty much insane and made his choice. You can’t use him as a beacon of hope anymore. Then you have Aizen who looked great in his initial appearance as I mentioned. He gets a flashback as well and appears a bit near the end so it’s always good to see him show up. The guy gets so much hype that you can’t help but feel he would able to win against the heroes if he were to ever return.

Mayuri gets a bit role as mentioned earlier as he really tries to make the Soul Society look as evil as possible. Between him and Tokinada they make a compelling case for why the place needs to be taken down. Then we get onto the 4 new characters in the series. First up is Tokinada since he is the main villain. The guy is certainly going for an Aizen vibe but a crazier version of the character.

Aizen always spoke very respectfully and had grand ideals. He knew how to talk about those in a very regal sense. Tokinada is also a master strategist but he likes really messing with the heroes. He’ll constantly bring up old traumas to see how everyone reacts. His back story really hits different as a result of that. It’s not an origin where you’re supposed to feel bad for him. Far from it, it shows that he was always twisted to the core right from the start.

He makes for a very powerful villain but not a likable one. You feel like Shunsui or Byakuya should have taken him out long ago. The main problem is that they just accept what happened each time without retaliating. That would lead to Tokinada growing more and more bold. It is impressive how he is able to hold his own against everyone though. Maybe a little too impressive since taking on Espada, the Quincy, and the Gotei 13 is just insane. This guy could have even ended Arc 2 based on how good he looks here.

Then you have Hikone who is Tokinada’s right hand man. As a human, arrancar, quincy hybrid creation the kid doesn’t know anything about the world except what Tokinada has told him. To that extent he’s a rather tragic character since he has no possible way to know that what he is doing is wrong. All he can do is keep on moving forward and hoping for the best. This guy’s power is also very impressive and he keeps on getting stronger throughout the series. I ended up liking him. Hikone’s true personality shines through since he doesn’t murder his opponents the way he would have if the guy was pure evil. He simply doesn’t know better and I can’t really blame him for that.

Then you have his sword Ikomikidomae. That guy’s a very interesting character and I would have liked to have seen more of him. He’s a very old being who has so much power that it’s hard to even say what he is. The guy ultimately gets overshadowed by the other two villains but looked really impressive in the meantime. In a 1 on 1 fight it’s hard to say that anyone else would be able to defeat him. Not the way he was dominating the other characters.

Finally you have Aura. She’s certainly an interesting character with the way her intangibility powers work. Aura is quite broken in that sense as nobody could really land a hit on her throughout the whole trilogy. Only one specific blade would even have a chance against her and since Tokinada is a master strategist she would need to be careful of him. She gets her own backstory and everything so by the end you feel like you know Aura quite well. She got a very satisfying ending to her character I would say.

In the books there are some illustrations which is fun. It would be nice to see this turned into a manga or anime at some point since there’s a lot to absorb here. I don’t read a whole lot of novels though so it’s fun to see how the information is presented in a different medium. For sure it allows you to have a lot more dialogue and characters really processing the events. To an extent I would say that a novel will always be more dramatic than other versions since you have the characters thinking and using hyperbole about everything. (“This is the strongest attack I’ve ever seen!!!!”)


Overall, This was a really fun trilogy. The only goal the trilogy didn’t succeed with was getting me to like Hisagi. The guy is just too filled with self doubt and panicking all the time. Since that was part of his character arc perhaps he will be better going forward though. I liked how the series handled the Ichigo aspect since the guy would have cleaned shop if he was around. I thought the reason for why he wasn’t around was logical though and there’s even potential room for a sequel explaining more in depth what happened to him. What really seals the deal for the trilogy being great though was the ending. It’s really the ideal ending in many respects and an ending is always important since it leaves an impression. I was pleasantly surprised at some of the final outcomes. So if you’re looking for more Bleach content until we hopefully get a sequel soon, these 3 books are great ones to check out.

Overall 8/10

A Certain Scientific Railgun T Review


Railgun’s definitely had a great track record so far to the point where it has even been crushing the main series and the spinoff led by Accelerator. To this day I still say that Railgun S was the best season for any of the Raildex shows so far. T comes pretty close and I would put it in second but ultimately I give S the slight edge. It’s just really difficult to take that one down for the count. There are quite a lot of story arcs and characters here to prepare yourself for quite the long review.

The first story arc takes place at the Festival and it’s certainly the longest story arc here. With the festival at play all of the classes are participating so they can prove that they are the best. During this there is a group that is trying to capture Misaka as well as the Misaka clones in order to gather information on the Misaka network and get the Level 6 project ready. Meanwhile Misaka’s friends have all forgotten about her and she suspects that Shokuhou is responsible for this. The tricky part is actually confronting her since it’s difficult to reverse the mind wipe and of course without proof it’ll look like she’s attacking another student without provocation. As her friends begin to get targeted though, Misaka grows less reluctant to cause a scene.

This arc was a solid jumping on point since it continues the Sisters plot and introduces a quite a lot of characters who would be important down the road. It also gave Misaka’s friends a chance to shine before she intervened and had some pretty intense moments. One of the scientists beating up on Misaka’s friends was intense because it took her so long to get there. If anything I thought that guy got off incredibly easy since he basically just got to escape after being threatened and didn’t even get beaten up a lot. I feel like after everything he did they should have at least taken him down officially and shut down the group before handing him over to the cops. I suppose with the threats that should be it for him though.

Kongo and her clique had their first really serious fight in this arc and it was nice to see what they were capable of. All 3 of them seem reasonably powerful but Kongo in particular has a great power set with air. If the circumstances had been just a little bit different then I dare say she would have been able to come out on top. I was glad she got her respect here because she has always been a very loyal ally to Misaka but rarely gets a lot of recognition. Kongo definitely had a very solid role here though.

Then you have the villain Mitori who is pretty interesting with her ability to create a metal version of herself that attacks and defends on its own. Naturally she’s not very tough when you take the clone away but getting past it is quite troublesome. It seems like she will be appearing more in the future but under Shokuhou’s watchful eye I don’t see her trying anything crazy.

With the Level 6 project completed here it feels like we ended a plot line that had been going on since forever. Even in the original days of Index people were trying to get Espers up to Level 6. I don’t doubt that more people will try in the future of course but now that we’ve actually seen Level 6 I feel like it won’t be as much of a focus. We now know what it can do after all so it’s no longer some kind of huge mystery.

As always Misaka is an excellent main character here. One of the reasons why she is so likable is that she is never afraid to just jump in and get on the action. She’s a very pro active character and if the red tape looks like it’ll take too long to go through then she just skips it and goes undercover with her baseball cap. It may not be much of a disguise but it works, particularly due to the fact that she tends to short-circuit the cameras and hide from building to building anyway. I didn’t expect we’d see Misaka acting as a renegade so soon after S so that was nice to see. If only her friends were more understanding she probably wouldn’t even need to hide this from them but until then I definitely agree with her decision to be low key about it. You never know quite how the others will respond.

Of course Touma shows up in this arc as well and it keeps showing me why the guy works even better as a side character than as the lead. He always looks really good in the Railgun titles such as him being able to help Misaka even as she’s a Level 6. The fact that he’s mastered his right arm here more than even in Season 3 of the Index show is pretty telling. He just launched those dragons out without a care in the world and it worked out. He’s just brimming with confidence here even with his arm canceling out good luck. If Touma was always like this then he would probably be one of the best characters.

Touma got to team up with a new character named Gunha who also stands out as an excellent character. He’s one of the other Level 5 Espers from Academy City but didn’t really get to appear much until now. Well, they definitely ended up saving one of the best characters for last because this guy really stands out. He’s just an excellent character all told. Gunha is all about fighting with guts and that allows him to really surpass his limits and get to the next level. It’s clear that his raw power would even rival that of Misaka’s and I would imagine that he could put up a decent fight against any of the fighters that we had previously seen in the series. The show hasn’t gone out of its way to explain his abilities yet but it seems to involve wind manipulation. That would be my guess at least and it helps him display feats of speed and strength as a result.

This arc also brought Shokuhou back into the mix. She would end up being a main character in most future arcs as well so get ready for that. Fortunately it works out because she is just a great character. Pretty much any scene that involves her ends with Shokuhou completely stealing the spotlight. Her memory manipulation ability is incredibly handy, especially mixed in with the fact that she has absolutely no qualms about using it. As a result she’s really got the city in the palm of her hands. Whenever she is in a jam she can just mind control someone to help her out. Shokuhou can be a bit spoiled as a result but she also uses her personality as a clever way to prevent other characters from realizing just how smart she really is.

Her ability involves a lot of mental mathematics and using her abilities super creatively. Her 1 on 1 battle with Gensei was a super intellectual battle and she held her own quite well. It’s effectively a battle of traps both physical and mental the entire time. There was a ton of back and forth with a lot of fake outs as well. Then we eventually see Shokuhou’s emotional backstory. As the show goes on and we learn more about her, Shokuhou goes from being a very good character to an excellent one. It seems like she will be sticking around as a supporting character down the road and that definitely sounds good to me. You also can’t help but like the fact that she never missed an opportunity to mess with Misaka. The fact that she has memory altering abilities makes it too easy. Misaka is just super lucky that her electrical abilities prevent such abilities from working on her as things would definitely get ugly otherwise. Low key her butler is also a great character. I do like that he actually knows how to fight and understands military strategy. He’s out of his league in this season but handled the situation as well as possible.

Gensei was surprisingly a solid villain as well. Usually with a guy like this you’d expect him to be a fairly boring villain who is just here for the plans and such but he surpassed my expectations. His goal was actually really well thought out and the fact that he even gave himself super abilities was impressive. He planned things down to a T and has to be one of the best mad scientists I’ve seen in a very long time. He’s a villain through and through but one who plans for every contingency. Usually you see heroes having to overcome great odds but in this case he was the underdog. Who’d have thought that an extremely old man with no way to really be able to fight physically could take on two Level 5s the way that he did.

Time for a mini arc about Indian Poker. This was definitely an odd little thing that has a lot of plot relevance to the rest of the season and even the future beyond that. It’s going for more of an emotional saga as opposed to being the next big thing. The first two episodes focus on Kuroko’s team. Saten as usual is trying to pick up on more hobbies to tease Uiharu about. Well, this new Poker system allows you to buy a card where you pick up on someone’s dreams. So for example, as the recorder you would go to bed and dream about eating pizza. Well, the dream is now recorded so putting it on your head will allow you to keep reliving the dream. You can also sell the dream so others can experience it.

In this way you can learn someone’s secrets or even their talents. The idea is that if you’re an expert at juggling you may dream about juggling as well and then when someone roleplays as you during the dream then you’ll be an expert by the end of the dream. I don’t think picking up a hobby would be so easy just from a few dreams but I guess if you do it enough you can become an expert. Naturally that also means a lot of people have rather sketchy dreams which they turn around for a considerable profit. The sketchiest dreams tend to be the most lucrative.

Now, the success of Indian Poker will depend on users actually controlling their dream so they sell a good product. That part seems easy enough though as controlling your dreams isn’t that hard once you actually try it out. For example I find that an easy way to target your dreams is to pick a scenario to think about and then as you slowly fade into sleep it’ll continue as your dream until you wake up. I use it quite extensively as I reimagine tournaments in Smash Bros going a bit differently or I win the lottery and have fun spending the money. It’s a good mental exercise as you retire for the night and then it’s also a positive dream which is fun.

Back to the arc though. One episode is mostly just a comedic one with Misaka fighting over cards and is forced to relive a lot of dreams to find the right one. The whole adventure ended up being a bust though. I’d have to put that as one of the weaker episodes. It had some fun moments of course but does take the low hanging fruit here at times with the dreams. The other two episodes have Kuroko and Uiharu meet up with a kid who can see the future. He uses the cards and his camera to record the dreams and hopes that Kuroko will be able to stop them. He only tends to see disasters after all. The heroes help him out and it leads to an emotional journey to save his dog as well.

These episodes can feel like filler to an extent and in the grand scheme I would say it’s fair to call them that. There are technically elements that make these episodes important though so it would depend on your definition there. The episode involving the dog could have gotten dicey for sure but fortunately things turned out well. I’m still not a fan of Uiharu or Saten so I don’t mind that they’ve had a very small role in the season.

Kuroko’s a fun character but ironically only tends to not be quite as enjoyable when Misaka is around. Kuroko’s always been a far better protagonist when she’s on her own. Some heroes are just like that I guess as being around others reduces their character personality to one note. So on the whole I would say Kuroko’s okay. At least in these episodes she did well. Teleporting is always a useful ability to have and when Kuroko’s serious she does get some good wins in this season. Her battle of wits with the living metal user in the mall was also very solid.

Next up is a 2 episode mini arc featuring Frenda and Saten as the main characters. They make for a very unlikely lead duo and the saga works out quite well. Frenda is a ruthless assassin after all but part of how she copes with this is by being a fairly cheerful teenager otherwise. She really likes her canned mackerel and that’s what leads her to Saten. Frenda repays the favor by saving Saten from being kidnapped but is then attacked by the assassin Yumiya. Frenda could win easily in most circumstances but they are fighting inside of a crowded mall and Frenda was already injured prior to the battle.

Now these two episodes were exceptionally good. It’s really the ideal mini arc as it’s a self contained story with characters who don’t get to appear a lot. It’s easily Frenda’s best appearance in the entire franchise to be sure. We really get to see her mastery of bombs and hand to hand combat as well as her solid strategy tactics when cornered. Saten may just hold her back the whole time but Frenda still doesn’t run away or anything. If anything the whole situation feels all the more tragic since you know what happens to Frenda in Index season 3. This way we at least got to see her a little longer.

Yumiya was also a pretty solid character. She’s a very delusional villain to be sure and has a complex personality. She wants to be popular at school and tends to misread everything. Her job as an assassin is also very inconvenient of course since it gets in the way of being at school. While she is very shy and timid at school, she is a vicious murderer otherwise who will use any means at her disposal in order to win. It’s a solid character contrast and it would be fun to see her return someday. Of course she will need to heal quite a bit in order to be as much of a threat as she used to be since Frenda did quite a number on her.

The final 5 episodes take us to the final arc and it was a great way to close everything out. We are introduced to Kuriba, a scientist of great renown. She has been experimenting with the idea of splitting a person’s soul in two and proving if one really exists. Well, she accomplished this but it may have been more of a dangerous experiment than she anticipated. There now exists a Doppelganger who has all of the same knowledge and experiences as Kuriba. When Doppelganger finds out that she is the fake she does not take it so well and is now threatening to blow up Academy City as well as murder Kuriba. A team of assassins’ are sent after her but they won’t be enough. Fortunately Misaka is also on the case and ready to take this foe down.

There are a few twists in store as with any big arc. The climax is also really high end as the Doppelganger continues to upgrade from form to form. She even brings out a giant Kaiju mode at one point which was really cool. Now, you can sometimes worry about a giant opponent taking on someone who’s human sized since it can devolve into 0 choreography where they whack at each other but this fight was handled really well and also animated on point. Misaka gets to unleash one of her largest Railguns in the series. I also liked that in this arc Misaka made more use of her black iron ability. I find it to be one of the most versatile weapons at her disposal but she rarely ever uses it in combat. I suppose she prefers to use electricity through her Railguns but I think long-term she may find even more success with this.

The Doppelganger made for a great character. It’s always tough finding out you’re not the real thing after all. It’s pretty understandable that she would go off the deep end. Additionally Academy City is so corrupt and we learn more and more with each arc. It becomes increasingly harder to defend them and if the villain were to destroy the city they would take out a lot of bad guys instantly. Of course they can never truly win because we would also lose a lot of heroes. Doppelganger’s plan is solid though and she’s also a terrific fighter with how quickly she can adapt and learn new techniques. She works out quite nicely as the final boss.

For the assassin group Scavenger, it’s fun to see them after they got trounced in the Accelerator series. Unfortunately for them they are once again completely out of their league here. There’s never a doubt in your mind that Misaka or Doppelganger could take them out. I’ll give props to the kinetic energy girl for actually trying but of course she was dispatched like an after thought. The group is very lucky that Misaka bought into all of their excuses because she would have been able to take down the rest of the group with ease. If anything they get off a little too easy here.

The final episode nicely wraps up all of the various subplots and gives the characters one last scene. Naturally there are still a ton of ongoing plots occurring in the background. Some of these would likely get wrapped up in other titles but I’m sure some will make it for the next Railgun series. It’s part of the fun of being an interconnected series. You really need to see all of the titles to get the complete context. Some characters show up here with direct repercussions from the Accelerator and Index series so if you came here directly from Railgun S there would probably be a bit of a disconnect there. You can just watch all 3 seasons of Railgun on their own and be okay of course but checking out the rest really helps to give you that extra context.

The only thing to say against the show would be that it has a decent amount of fanservice. Certainly the dream episodes have fun with that and Misaka’s ongoing insecurities are only magnified by having Shokuhou appear all the time. There’s a consistent level of this to an extent but the show always keeps this aspect reigned in well. It doesn’t really hold the show back much. It would be nice of course if the show side stepped this entirely but it seems almost inevitable that some fanservice would appear. As long as it’s always overshadowed and outnumbered by the high quality scenes here then we should be good.

As always the animation here is most excellent. The animation may have even gone up from the first two seasons. There are a number of excellently animated fights here like Misaka vs the robotic Kaiju, Touma and the new Level 5 taking on Misaka, and low key the battle with Frenda and the assassin. It never really lets up and makes for a very consistent experience throughout the show. There are no poorly animated episodes which is always great since it shows that a good amount of time and effort was put into the show.

Next up we have the soundtrack which is unsurprisingly very good. You’ve got a lot of the classic tunes here along with new ones. The new intro to the season is also very solid. I would definitely take the first one over the second but they both sound very good. The battle themes are on point and so on a technical level Railgun does really well as expected. The writing is on point and Railgun gives so many characters so much development that it’s just really impressive. I’ll definitely be ready for the next season. Each episode is just handled in a way where you’re always interested in what happens next. Even the bust upper episode which I consider to be the weakest one still has a lot of very solid humor moments. The sign of a great show is when every episode is engaging in its own way and Railgun T pulls that off.

One thing that the Raildex series has always done well is throw a lot of fancy terminology and lingo at you. I always love seeing characters babbel on about their crazy abilities and plans. Railgun T is no exception to that with a lot of great concepts thrown in there. It’s willing to tackle any idea or premise no matter how crazy and it works. I just really enjoy a good speech and the villains and heroes both make a lot of those. It all just ends up being very compelling and the series is so fleshed out now with over 10-20 groups running around that you never really know what’ll happen next.

While a big reason as to why the show is so fantastic is the fight scenes, it does manage to blend together a lot of different emotional moments as well. For example, Shokuhou’s backstory ties in with one of the sisters and another character. The 3 of them have a lot of pretty emotional moments there since they all grew up with rather tough backgrounds. To go from there to having a very light hearted episode would be tough for some shows but Railgun pulls it off. All of the characters get satisfying endings to their stories and so the sad moments have great payoffs. Then of course we have the action episodes where it goes without saying that those are really satisfying. The single best fight scene here would likely be Gungha and Touma’s team up against Misaka but I would put Frenda vs Yumiya and Misaka vs Doppleganger as close runner ups. There’s a lot of good action here to be sure.

Overall, Railgun T is a great successor to Railgun S and shows that the series has still got it. Not that there was ever any reason to doubt this after how good Railgun S was though. I’m wondering if the next season will be called Railgun U or if they’ll just switch to another letter. If we assume that each one meant S (Second) T (Third) then maybe Railgun F makes sense for Fourth. Either way I can’t imagine that they would want to wait too long before continuing the adaption but it is pretty cool how they keep on adapting more of the franchise. So whether we get more of the main series, Accelerator, Railgun, or another spinoff, it’ll be fun to see how that turns out. If you haven’t seen Railgun T yet then you definitely need to change that asap!

Overall 8/10

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause Review


While the first two Santa Clause films were ranging from very good to great, the third installment ends things off on a whimper. It just isn’t able to compete at all. The reason for this is that the human areas have effectively stopped appearing. Almost the whole film takes place in the North Pole this time and let me tell you, that’s not a good idea. That’s where the weakest characters are after all so it’s just not going to work. The best part of the film is sadly a very short set of scenes.

The movie starts with Santa doing his best at Christmas as usual but this year things are extra hectic. There are delays in the present supplies which means that Santa has to inspect these things a lot closer than he usually would. Then his wife Carol is starting to miss being at home. Scott figures if she can’t go home then he’ll just bring her parents to the North Pole. They’ve never liked Scott though so the whole thing is a little tricky. With Christmas getting more and more stressful Scott is reminded that he can use the Escape Clause to make it so that his adventures as Santa never actually happened. Should he really undo everything that has already occurred?

I should mention, this is already part of the plot that seems forced. Why can’t Carol just go and spend some time at home? I feel like that should be an option as a little vacation of sorts. At the very least it’s an alternative to consider as opposed to going through an elaborate set up to bring her folks and then pretend that this is Canada. It’s never even considered though and based on what the parents say, Carol hasn’t been home in years. That’s pretty crazy when you think about it.

There’s also another plot in the air. So, I didn’t mention them in the previous review but there is a council of Supernatural creatures such as the Toothfairy, Mother Nature, Easter Bunny, and more. They were fairly pointless in the second movie just as in this one so there’s not a lot to say about them. It’s a fun concept but the film doesn’t actually do anything interesting with them so you can definitely be forgiven for forgetting them entirely.

That being said, this time they play a bigger role because of one member known as Jack Frost. He’s upset because he’s the only member not to have his own holiday so he keeps trying to steal Christmas. Scott is ready to expel Jack but then decides to give him a second chance. He’ll let Jack Frost observe Santa’s workshop during the busiest time of the year with no real supervision. Jack accepts since this is the perfect time for him to sabotage Christmas. Throughout the movie we see him breaking equipment and messing with everyone the whole time. Unfortunately nobody is able to stop him.

It leads to a pretty rough scene where Lucy figures out the gameplan but isn’t able to tell anyone before being defeated along with Neil and Laura. You’d think they would have put up a better fight but they end up getting frozen without even landing a hit. It was definitely a pretty shameful appearance for them. Jack’s an interesting villain but one who gets away with far too much. Pretty much any scene with the guy is one where he is just messing up another piece of equipment with no actual punishment for his actions. You’d think that someone would catch him but that’s not the case. Even by the end he’s barely punished for everything he did.

That’s definitely one of the more annoying parts. That said, it does lead to the best part of the film which is the part where he and Scott have to time travel back to the past where the first film took place. Scott’s definitely been slacking off on his fighting ability though given how he was easily defeated by Jack. From there we get to see an alternate past where he never became Santa and how badly it turned out for everyone. At least this now gives Scott closure that he made the right move all along. My only problem with this is that the plot doesn’t appear until near the very end of the movie so there is almost no time to actually explore this. It’s an incredible premise and not one that could be explored in a few moments like that. I dare say that most of this film should have involved this premise.

After all, Jack learns about this trick from Curtis near the beginning of the film so we know it’s going to happen at some point or another. Instead of buying time with Jack breaking everything just cut to the chase. That way we’d have more time in the human world and that would have been a blast. The movie absolutely would have benefited from going down this route. Of that I definitely have no doubts. Ah well, I guess it wasn’t to be. It’s not that this film did a whole lot wrong but one of its main weaknesses is that it’s not all that funny anymore. I can’t think of any really humorous moments in this film and for a comedy that’s pretty bad. It’s definitely going more for crude humor this time around which doesn’t work well.

Most of the characters aren’t quite as reasonable either. If you thought Curtis was bad in the last film then he’s way worse here. Scott and Carol’s disagreements felt contrived as Scott was completely out of character with how much he was ignoring Carol and Christmas. Meanwhile Carol was fairly quick to escalate things as well especially with her parents antagonizing Scott the whole time. Then you have Neil and Laura who really don’t get to do much of anything here. You could say they are just along for the ride but that’s about it. Lucy gets a bigger role at least as she gets to have a blast at the North Pole. She didn’t do too well in the fight against Jack though.

Bud and Silvia are decent characters but definitely some of the meanest ones here. They’re always taking a lot of shots at Scott. I suppose they should be upset though. I’ll give Bud some props for being quick to help fix things though. He was definitely a solid handyman while Jack was busy messing the place up. I still can’t get over how Scott just let the guy run wild without a care in the world. He wouldn’t have made this mistake back when he was a business exec. Scott would have been on that guy right away and ready for a win.

Overall, Santa Clause 3’s mistake is very simple. It decided to focus on the North Pole which is consistently the weakest part of each film. Now, you can certainly have a good film at the North Pole I’m sure but then the writing has to be quite good and I can’t say that it was here. The writing is decent at best but most of the jokes don’t land and the character cast isn’t great. The difference between this film and the first one is pretty massive. It’s a decent end to the trilogy I guess but there’s very little replay value and you’ll likely be disappointed if you expect it to be on the same level as the first two.

Overall 6/10

Little Big Planet 3 Review


The Little Big Planet series started off rather rocky with the first game and then really jumped with the second one. This final installment in the trilogy manages to keep that same energy and keeps the series on an upwards trajectory. I wouldn’t say it quite matches the second game which still had the most intense plot but the fact that the game has a pretty serious story with clear plot progression is always a good thing. Sackboy has really done everything he could in order to save the world at this point. He may get nervous but he’s always ready.

So there’s a guy named Newton who has decided to awaken the Titans. He had the best of intentions initially as he just wanted to help the world with energy and such. Unfortunately the power corrupts him as everyone warned it would and he aims to destroy the world. Sackboy will have to resurrect the 3 legendary warriors to back him up and claim victory now. It’ll be dangerous but if he has these guys back him up then now he has a real shot at success. Naturally that means Sackboy will have to get past the Titans though so he can’t afford to lower his guard at all or it may be game over here.

There are 3 worlds in the game and each one has around 5 levels. The campaign is a little on the short side as you’ll have it completed in around 3 hours. There is a lot of replay value to be had here though as you can go back and play online levels, grab collectibles, and earn PS4 trophies. There are a lot of these to grab so that should extend the game to around 10 hours or longer I would expect. There are also a bunch of extra levels that aren’t required to beat the game but are present in each world. You can also get the game for a pretty good price so that helps even out the length concerns. Part of why it goes a lot faster than the other games is because the game is a lot easier than the second one. Perhaps people weren’t thrilled with the difficulty of the last one? It could get surprisingly tough that’s for sure, I remember being pretty surprised at that myself.

The story itself is pretty fun though. Newton makes for a fun villain who even has an emotional backstory. You can’t help but feel a little bad for him because he’s had it tough. Not “Gotta destroy the world” tough but still I’ll give him some props. Meanwhile the graphics are definitely solid. The levels have a lot of really solid backgrounds to it and each of the worlds are pretty unique. The soundtrack is also nice with an iconic Christmas song thrown in and then you’ve got another lively one during the credits. A good amount of work was put into this. I wonder if the songs were free domain at this point or if they had to pay for them. Either way it’s pretty nice to have though.

The gameplay is your classic 2D platformer. You want to run and jump past obstacles to make it to the end of the game. This time around you have multiple playable characters though and each of them have some slight differences. The dog for example can move faster than Sackboy. He can’t grab things but he can run on walls. Then you have the bird who can fly at high speeds. He makes for some of the tougher bits in the game since when you go into free drive it can be difficult to dodge the lasers and such. Then you have the power player of the group who can shrink into a tiny form to go under platforms or into the huge form in order to punch through obstacles.

One thing that’s always been a big point of emphasis for the Little Big Planet games is how much customization there is in the gameplay. Aside from level creating you can also equip your Sackboy with hundreds of different clothing options. You can make him an explorer, superhero, monster, etc. I gave him a basic Indiana Jones type costume this time. Initially when you start the game the two options are that one and Red Riding Hood but there are tons of materials to find in every level. After the first level you can probably combine for a bunch of different uniforms as well. So Sackboy can really appear as you want him to be.

Overall, Little Big Planet 3 is a pretty fun game. You can’t ask for much more from a classic platformer. The gameplay is strong with no glitches in sight, the soundtrack is on point with a lot of variety and solid tunes, finally you have really good graphics with a lot of character designs that are on point. It doesn’t lose in any technical aspects. The only real factor working against the game is the length of the story and even then there are a lot of bonus options you can do to keep up the replay value. I’m looking forward to seeing how the 4th Little Big Planet turns out. If it does well then it may be time for Sony to more aggressively think of spinoffs putting Sackboy in different gameplay styles and situations. I think there’s a lot of potential there. If you like platformers then this should be somewhere on your list.

Overall 7/10

Little Big Planet 3 Stats and Records

Stats time!

PS4 Trophies 4/32

World Stats

World 0 56% Complete
World 1 34% Complete
World 2 28% Complete
World 3 235 Complete

Level Stats (%Complete)

Belly of the Beast 42%
Masque Maker’s Tower 19%
Cloud Caravan 31%
Even Bosses Wear Hats Sometimes 76%
Benkum Lagoon 9%
The Great Escape 30%